Pope Francis has called on the international community to renew its commitment to protecting the victims of armed conflict, insisting that war and terrorism “are always a serious loss for the whole of humanity”.

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After praying the Angelus Sunday from the balcony of the Apostolic Palace, the Pope recalled that Monday marks the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, “important international legal instruments that impose limits on the use of force and are aimed at protecting civilians and prisoners in time of war”.

“May this anniversary make States ever more aware of the indispensable need to protect the life and dignity of victims of armed conflicts”, prayed Francis.


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The Pope insisted that “all are required to observe the limits imposed by international humanitarian law, protecting unarmed populations and civil structures, especially hospitals, schools, places of worship [and] refugee camps”.

“Let’s not forget that war and terrorism are always a serious loss for the whole of humanity… the great human defeat”, the Pope added.

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For the record

Francis devoted his catechesis today to Christ’s instruction to his disciples to “gird your loins and light your lamps, and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks”.

“It is a question of not putting down roots in comfortable and reassuring dwellings”, the Pope explained, “but of abandoning oneself with simplicity and trust to the will of God, who guides us towards the next goal”.

“No one can withdraw into the certainty of their own salvation without being concerned for others”, Francis added, warning that “it is a fantasy to think that one can illuminate oneself”.

“True faith opens our hearts to others and encourages us to a concrete communion with our brothers, especially those in need”, the Pope said.

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